Granite Shoals resident hopes to paint the town with mural project

Joseph's Food Pantry mural

This mural painted by Valerie Nieto on the Joseph's Food Pantry building, 706 N. Phillips Ranch Road in Granite Shoals, is an example of how this type of art can beautify a city, according to resident Susan Bushart. The Granite Shoals City Council approved Bushart’s request to form a committee with the goal of painting murals across the city. Courtesy photo

Though Granite Shoals resident Susan Bushart isn’t an artist, she has a deep appreciation for what it can do for a community.

Bushart believes it unites people of all walks of life, no matter their backgrounds, professions, religions, or other differences.

She feels so strongly about it that she requested the Granite Shoals City Council allow her to form a committee of residents with the goal of painting murals across the city. The council approved her request during its December 17 meeting.

Bushart and her husband have owned property in Granite Shoals for 25 years and wanted to start a community project that would draw residents together.

“It’s my opinion, quite frankly, that neighborhoods (in Granite Shoals) aren’t interactively connected,” Bushart said. “I feel everybody has a creative vibe. The goal is to meet people we don’t know and get to know them.”

She is inviting residents to join the committee, which she hopes will start meeting after the first of the year. It will take recommendations on what types of murals to create. The projects would be paid for through donations and grants, she said.

“The public would be invited to actively participate in the development of concept, artist choice, site selection, and the actual painting of the mural itself,” Bushart told the council during her presentation. “Folks from every neighborhood, our schools, churches, local businesses, and community leaders would get together, share ideas, develop plans of action, and implement the plan.”

Her goal is to create one mural and then “see how it goes.”

Committee members don’t have to have an art background to join, she said, adding that a professional artist would be hired or one might decide to donate their talent.

“(Committee members) need to come with ideas,” she said. “I’d like them to be able to help out either by making a phone call or dropping things off.”

Bushart noted the concept isn’t new to city leaders. In 2010, the council adopted a comprehensive plan in which “several times was mentioned public art,” she said.

Bushart already met with Highland Lakes Elementary School leaders to start the process of creating an art collaboration with the students.

“I want people in our community to donate their time, to come up with a concept, to pick a spot,” she added. “(The art) would be put on a public building.”

Bushart noted that murals could be painted on the Andy Roddick Foundation Tennis Center or the yet-to-be built bathroom, which are both located near City Hall, 2221 N. Phillips Ranch Road; the old City Hall building; and the city’s community center, also located on Phillips Ranch Road.

She also hopes business owners would be willing to have murals painted on their buildings.

“Art encompasses all ages,” she said. “I would love your input on the project because you represent a faction of my community. My hope is we have representation of all neighborhoods.”

Email Bushart at sbushart@icloud.com for more information.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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